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Kohl’s Department Stores and E-Commerce, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 763

Essay

It has grown increasing more common for retailers to offer their consumers the option of shopping in their traditional stores or online at their e-commerce.  The convenience of having a virtual store at one’s fingertips is often a better option than driving to the traditional store, rifling through clothing racks, and waiting in lines to complete the purchase.  However, there are definite pros and cons to traditional versus virtual shops.  This paper will look at the advantages and disadvantages as well as the potential legal and ethical ramifications of shopping in a virtual storefront.

Kohl’s is a growing retailer that has captured their market and has continued to expand to reach new consumers.  Their frequent and generous coupons continually bring new and repeat consumers into the stores.  Visiting their virtual store front, it was visible that their same great product was available online as well.  When deciding on a product the first process for purchasing the product in the cart is to complete and online profile.  Without entering one’s personal information, there is no way to process the sale.  According to Pulli, Antoniac, and Hickey an advantage to gathering this data is “interactive customization of product through the internet prior to ordering and delivering.”  The advantage is that customers may receive notices on sales or new products based on their previous purchases.  A disadvantage is the excess notifications and junk mail that could occur as a result.

The next option that was available during this virtual transaction was the option to “make it a gift”.  This is a great option to have someone else pack up a product and deliver it as a gift from you.  A disadvantage is you don’t get the satisfaction of the see and feel factors to ensure you give exactly what you are intending to send.  There are also potential legal and ethical situations that can arise.  In the event a credit card is stolen or unauthorized, an individual can obtain a lot of gifts at someone else’s expense.  They also have to consider the product that is being purchased.  “Businesses entering the e-commerce world will be facing a new set of ethical challenges. It is easy for businesses to become sidetracked in the technical challenges of operating in this way and to pay little attention to the ethical implications.” (E-Commerce)

After these other two factors were complete, the next step was to check out with VeriSign Secured.   Entering personal information on the internet can make a consumer leery, however being required to enter a credit card is even scarier.  This is where virtual retailers have to be able to protect their consumers.  In a traditional store, the cashier verifies identification, signature, and credit card when transactions are taking place.   This protects the store and the consumer alike.  That option is not available online, that is why systems like VeriSign is in place to add security.  “83 percent of consumers want more assurance that their information is secure.” (Javelin)  VeriSign Secured offers this peace of mind to make a purchase.

The final two-steps in the e-commerce shopping experience is the billing and shipping information.  The online profile that was entered previously automatically filled in the billing and shipping spots.  There was an option to make changes to both in the event I chose to do so.  This was an advantage because of the ability to send as a gift, or to have shipped to an alternate location in the event that is more convenient.  According to visa the billing address is essential to authorize the card based on the Address Verification Service (AVS).  “Allows e-commerce merchants to check a Visa cardholder’s billing address with the issuer.  AVS provides merchants with a key indicator that helps verify whether or not a transaction is valid.” (Visa E-commerce)  This is for the legal and loss-prevention protection for both the retailer and the consumer.

The overall experience of shopping at Kohl’s virtual storefront was positive.  There were far more advantages to shopping online than the disadvantages that are associated with it.  The process was very easy, and the steps were not extremely time consuming.  Shopping in a retail store offers the immediate satisfaction of a purchase, but is not always convenient or an option.  Knowing that a purchase can be safely made with little time and effort makes e-commerce a definite advantage for future personal shopping.

References:

E-commerce. Softmeg Website Design & Development.  Retrieved from http://www.softmeg.com/ecommerce.php

Javelin Strategy and Research. (2008) Retrieved from www.javelinstrategy.com/2009/03/17/survey-finds-retailers-missed-out-on-21-billion-in-sales-in-2008-due-to-online-shopping-fears

Pulli, P; Antoniac P. & Hickey S. (1999) Mobile Telepresence Services For Virtual Enterprise. Retrieved from http://paula.oulu.fi/Publications/Submited/ICE99.pdf

Visa E-Commerce Merchants’ Guide to Risk Management. Retrieved from http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/visa_risk_management_guide_ecommerce.pdf

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